One of the biggest challenges in podcasting is recording production quality audio. If you’re the solo host of the show, or your co-host is sitting next to you in the studio, this isn’t a problem. But as you already know, when you have to record a podcast with hosts or interviewees in different locations, your audio’s production value takes a hit.
Record both ends of the interview locally. Skype Call Recorder won’t do it, neither will Pamela or GoToMeeting. While these tools are fantastic, they won’t capture that crisp clean radio sound on both ends of the conversation. These symptoms only amplify with slow internet or low signal. The challenge now turns to instructing your interviewee on recording quality audio locally and sending you the file. Additionally, it must be simple and take very little time particularly when your guests are technology averse.
To combat this, I’ve created a simple step-by-step guide you can send to your podcast guests ensuring you’ll get top notch audio every time. This guide walks both Mac & Windows users through installing Audacity, plugging in and configuring microphone settings (if they have one), running a quick test recording, best practices when on air and how to send you the file afterward. The guide also link to a Video Tutorial in case they are having some trouble.
After you’ve scheduled the interview, send your guest an email with some quick instructions on how the call will go. Tell them how you will be doing the interview (Skype, GoToMeeting, etc) and that you have a simple guide attached that shows them how to record their side of the interview for production quality audio. If they are reluctant, you can explain how clear audio quality is a reflection of their business, specialty and professionalism.
Tell them whether you will create a shared Dropbox folder or that they should send the file via Files to Friends. This is a free service where a person can upload a large file and automatically email you a link to it. Pretty epic for handling non-tech people. *Warning: The file will disappear after 24 hours so don’t forget to download it!
You may notice the guide instructs guests to save the audio as a .wav file. In order to save a compressed file, they would have to download LAME, and add more confusion to their end. The process is intentionally simple.
Have a better method to record both ends locally or have improvements on this system? I’d love to hear them. Please a comment below or drop me a line at Ben (at) AuthorityEngine.com